Alcohol consumption in India to grow by 8% this yr

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Alcohol consumption in India to grow by 8% this yr
New Delhi: The total consumption of alcoholic beverages in India is expected to touch 217.1 million cases in 2010, marking a growth of 8 per cent from the previous year, according to a report.

According to a report published by market research firm International Wine and Spirit Record (IWSR), the total consumption of spirits in the country stood at 200 million cases in 2009. A case has 12 bottles, totaling nine liters.

The Indian alcoholic beverages market is dominated by whisky, which accounts for more than half of the total spirits consumed in the country.

The total consumption of whisky is estimated to be around 131 million cases in the current year, a rise of 10 per cent from 119 million cases in 2009.

After whisky, rum is the most popular alcoholic beverage in India and the total consumption is estimated to be at 42.4 million cases in the current year, a rise of 8.7 per cent from 39 million cases in 2009.

According to the IWSR report, consumption of beer -- counted as a separate category -- is likely to grow by 7 per cent to 195.5 million cases of 7.8 litres each (1.52 crore Hecto Litres) in the current year, as compared to 181.5 cases (1.41 crore Hecto Litres) in 2009.

IWSR is a London-headquartered market research firm that focuses exclusively on the global alcoholic beverage market.

The Indian alcoholic beverage market is currently dominated by local brands such as McDowell, XXX, Bagpiper, 8PM and Officer's Choice, collectively known as the semi-premium segment.

The Vijay Mallya-promoted United Spirits, which has brands like McDowell and Bagpiper under its portfolio, is the largest player in the segment -- with sales of over 100 million cases per annum.

Diageo, the largest spirits maker globally, is the second-largest player in the country with brands like Johnnie Walker under its portfolio.

Among domestic companies, Radico Khaitan -- with brands like 8PM and Magic Moments -- is the second-largest firm after United Spirits in the country.

The Indian beer market is dominated by United Spirits' sister concern, United Breweries, and Sabmiller. Both companies account for more than 80 per cent share in the beer category.